I always knew I would be a mother from a very young age. You see I was raised by my grandmother, my own mother was simply too young to care for me properly, I think I’ve touched on that a tad in another post. I was lucky that my grandmother had a willingness to take me on, I never went without even though we didn’t have much. My grandmother lacked the ability to show affection, she was a hard woman who I think had a very cruel upbringing. She was never physically abusive, she was, however verbally hurtful at times, and because she never shared her life, I am left still wondering who she was.
She didn’t value girls, but was close to her son’s, their sons, and my son. I believe she felt girls were less than. She treated my mother, myself, and my daughter’s with distain and coldness. I was taught that education was not important, and that the best I would ever do was to marry and have children, me being a wife and mother was her ultimate goal for me, and because I wanted to please her I followed suit.
I am in no way saying that I regret my marriage or children, I’m simply stating that no other future crossed my mind because of her expectations and insistence that I wasn’t intelligent enough to persue a higher education.
So, I got married young, I had three children, all a year and half apart, and did everything in my power to be the opposite of my mother and grandmother.
My children are amazing. They all work hard, graduated, and are the best humans I’ve ever met. We had our struggles, I had no example to draw from in being a parent to three small children, I was truly winging it. I put my son’s diapers on backwards for 3 months, fed him rotten formula because I didn’t know it needed refrigeration, thank God we finally got the hang of breast feeding, he probably would of starved.
I immersed myself into being a mom and wife, I was terrible at both those first few years, I felt inept, unable to cope and found solice in drugs. I am so thankful that my husband saw I was sliding into addiction and threatened to walk with the kids, I found the strength to get clean.
My kids are now grown, I am a grandmother at 47, they are out in the world fighting the good fight, and winning. I am so proud of them. I wonder at times if they are amazing because or in spite of me. I did my best. I love them, I am affectionate, I talk to them, I am glad that I found a way of being physically and emotionally present for them.
I never saw myself as the mommy type. I am rebellious, outspoken, a feminist to my core, and have always had a great deal of trouble with compromise. I managed to raise a sensitive sweet man, and strong opinionated women. I did good. I’m glad I choose a family.
Now though I’m alone, my house is empty the majority of the time, and because I was never taught to work, or educate myself my job prospects are slim. I paint, it suits me.
I have what I think is called empty nesters syndrome, I have so many choices that I’m frozen. School? Job? Travel? Once again I’m winging it.
The possibilities are endless and scary.
My daughter’s eyes: